Tuesday, 24 April 2012

"Timeline of Historical Film Colors" now online

Frame grab from Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)
More than ever we need access to solid knowledge about historical film color processes in order to save our beautiful filmic heritage. [Barbara Flueckiger]
Film Studies For Free urges its readers to go and check out University of Zurich Institute of Cinema Studies professor Barbara Flueckiger's Database of Historical Film Colors and its amazing timeline of historical color processes.

Professor Flueckiger is certainly no stranger to making her important work freely accessible online for scholars all around the world to access. FSFF has previously covered some of her phenomenal sharing in its On Digital Cinema, Visual Effects, and CGI Studies entry, in which links were given both to a free download of 'Digital Bodies' (a chapter, translated into English, from Flueckiger's 2008 German-language book Visual Effects. Filmbilder aus dem Computer), as well as to her great online database on the history of CGI, VFX, and computer animation.

As of April 2012, the latest of the resources she is making available, the Historical Film Colors database consists of 290 entries. It comes in the form of a timeline that connects historical and bibliographical information with primary resources from several hundred original papers and more than 400 scanned frames provided by archives and scholars from all over the world.

In this current form the database is a nucleus for a much more advanced project which will be elaborated in the forthcoming months. It is Flueckiger's plan to develop a digital platform which allows experts and researchers to collaborate on a global scale.

To date, Professor Flueckiger has been solely responsible not only for gathering and analyzing all of the data, which derives from her studies of several hundred original papers and secondary sources at Harvard University in the fall term of 2011, but also for programming most of the database and organizing all the images and copyright clearances. Only to a very limited extent has she received financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation in the framework of her research project "Film History Re-mastered". She has therefore financed a major part of this project herself.

She has thus set up a crowd-funding campaign to invite you (or your institution) to support the further development of the project, either by sharing it or by contributing financially. The goal is to raise at least $10,000 in the upcoming 90 days. There are several contribution levels, starting at $25 for buying the rights for one image and extending to $5,000 for possible co-chairs of this project.

She will be very grateful for any kind of support and will be more than willing to give proper credit for conceptual or financial contributions. Many renowned scholars and institutions have contributed already.

Film Studies For Free hopes that its readers will support this project, either by contributing themselves, or by spreading the word.

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